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A note about applications in 2023

Due to the number of applications we have received last year, and the very limited capacity of the national team/coordinator, the application window will be closed from January to August 2023. This is to help us complete ongoing appraisals, as well as manage and re-accredit existing universities that are due to renew their award before we can welcome applications from new universities. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding. If you have any questions about this please contact us at [email protected]


Pledge your commitment to work towards the values and principles of the City of Sanctuary charter by signing up as a Supporting Organisation. The award is a whole-university initiative, so securing leadership support at this stage is helpful.

We also encourage you to sign up to monthly the newsletter. At this point, you can also contact the Universities of Sanctuary Programme Coordinator [email protected] to express your interest in pursuing the award and ask any questions or support. 


Read and review the resource pack and the guidance document for ideas and inspiration. 


Undertake an audit of what the university has done to date to meet the award criteria. Each university will have varying needs and priorities but take time to map positive initiatives and already existing relationships with community and support organisations.


Produce a plan (with support of local group) using the process of LEARN, EMBED, SHARE. Include how you plan to incorporate the CoS network principles (where applicable) within the organisation and what can be appropriately embedded within your context.Create a plan to fulfil or develop outstanding criteria. Consider linking this to, or embedding the plan into university development plans or strategies. 


Submit a written application for an award using this Application Form. Please send the application to the UoS coordinator at [email protected].  

The Appraisal

STEP 6 – Your application will be appraised by a panel which will normally include as a minimum, a local member of a local City of Sanctuary group, a sanctuary seeker, a member of the national UoS steering group, and a representative from an accredited university. The panel may request a visit* as part of the appraisal, and will usually require a conversation between key members of staff, students and partners.

STEP 7 – Once the award is agreed, plans can be made for its presentation which might include a celebratory event/ media statements etc.  Your organisation can either accept the CoS award certificate templates or design your own using the CoS logo.

STEP 8 –The conversations begun during appraisal will continue between the awarded university, local group, and the UoS coordinator. This informs a review every three years, and as a way to stimulate further development of sanctuary work across the University.


Case studies

We welcome case studies to use as guidance and inspiration for others around the UK applying for Sanctuary Awards. If you would like to submit a case study, please use this form.


Accreditation is valid for three years. An accreditation fee is applicable. The fee can be paid in one sum or in three annual installments. Following the three years, a review and re-accreditation fee is applicable. For more information about the accreditation fee, please click here.

Please contact [email protected] for information regarding the fee and payment options. In situations where difficulties arise and adjustments to fees may be required, each request will be assessed on its own merits by the University of Sanctuary Steering Group.


A JISC email list has been set up for universities of sanctuary, HE practitioners, students and individuals interested in the network to share information about best practice, upcoming events and new resources, as well as ask any questions: You can sign up here.

For any questions or if you would like to meet with us to discuss the process, please email [email protected]